Powered by Blogger.

Featured Slider

Berlin Pt. 1: German Resistance

During Warsaw Academy last summer I had the opportunity to spend three days in Berlin! I wrote a list of all the historical sites we saw and it added up to twenty, not including all the little spots we hit on our walking tour. I saw so much and now, several months later, I need to actually sit down and blog about it!


German Resistance Memorial Center

I honestly could have spent all day at the German Resistance Memorial Center at the Bendlerblock. This is where the July 20th plot to assassinate Hitler was planned and where some of the conspirators were executed, most notably Claus von Stauffenberg. It's now a museum and home to many original resistance documents belonging to groups and individuals such as the conspirators of the July 20th plot, The White Rose, Helmuth Hübener, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. See why I could have stayed forever?! These are some of the groups I've been researching and reading about for years!


5 Ways to Observe Holocaust Remembrance Day

As International Holocaust Remembrance Day approaches on Sunday, January 27th, a look at a recent survey by the Claims Conference shows how imperative this day of remembrance is for our country. The survey found that 66% of U.S. millennials and 41% of adults cannot identify what Auschwitz was, while 22% of millennials and 11% of adults "said they had not heard of, or were unsure if they had heard of the Holocaust." The number of Holocaust survivors are dwindling and anti-semitism is on the rise. What will the world be like when the survivors are gone? It’s our responsibility to carry their stories into the future so that the Holocaust won’t be forgotten, because as these frightening statistics show, it’s already happening.
Here are 5 ways you can observe Holocaust Remembrance Day.

______________________


 IRemember Wall 




Interview with Warsaw Ghetto Survivor

Rain tapped against the window as I sat next to Pinchas, a Holocaust survivor and educator, listening to his experiences as his wife provided us with delicious bowls of hot soup. It was an overcast day, but the warmth and welcoming nature of Pinchas and his wife, Dorothy, expelled the grey weather. I felt incredibly honored to be in the presence of a man who had seen so much evil and pain in his lifetime, but emerged with fortitude. He epitomizes the ultimate form of resistance and revenge to Nazi crimes - to live and bear witness. You see, Pinchas's childhood was the Holocaust. At age eleven, his parents and twin sister, Sabina, were murdered at Majdanek. He was the only member of his immediate family to survive the Holocaust.  

Pinchas at around age fourteen, wearing his new suit after the war. Ascot, England, 1946.

Pinchas survived the Warsaw Ghetto, Majdanek, three slave labor camps, Buchenwald, and the death march to Theresienstadt where he was liberated by the Russians on May 8th, 1945. He later served in the IDF and met his wife, Dorothy, in Israel. They have lived in England, Brazil, South Africa, and now reside in Canada.  

Resources to Combat Antisemitism

"Once I thought that antisemitism had ended; today it is clear to me that it will probably never end." - Elie Wisel

My heart is heavy and my prayers are with the Jewish community in Pittsburgh as they go through this incredibly difficult time. Antisemitism is not a thing of the past, as we witnessed on Saturday. It's real and it's dangerous. Education is an important tool to combat antisemitism so today I'm going to give you some resources to do just that. 


Echoes and Reflections equips educators to confidently teach about the Holocaust and contemporary antisemitism. While this is an excellent source for teachers, I think anybody can benefit from this amazing resource. They have video toolboxes with testimonies from Holocaust survivors and they offer detailed lesson plans. I recently attended one of their in-person seminars which they present throughout the country, so check out the dates to see if a seminar is coming near you. My favorite resource they offer are free webinars. They cover a variety of Holocaust related topics, contemporary antisemitism, and connect history to the refugee crisis today. 


Israel Pt. 2: Exploring Jerusalem

Previous blog posts about Israel: Yad Vashem Seminar and Part 1: Dead Sea, Masada, and Yad Vashem

After lectures one day, our group took a tour of the Old City of Jerusalem! 

Israel Pt 1: Dead Sea, Masada, and Yad Vashem

This summer I had the opportunity to visit Israel for a ten day seminar at Yad Vashem: The World Holocaust Remembrance Center. I wrote a general blog post about my experiences studying the Holocaust HERE, but now it's time to share all the pictures! 


After a 10 1/2 hour flight, Tel Aviv was a sight for sore eyes!

After the taxi ride from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, (during which I experienced nerve racking driving!) I made some much needed coffee and took a nap before dinner.  

In the Remains of the Warsaw Ghetto

Hello all!

I just recently returned from an incredible month studying WWII in Poland and Germany with the National WWII Museum! During the week our group of five was based in Warsaw while on weekends we traveled to Berlin, Gdańsk, and Krakow. Dr. Alexandra Richie was our amazing and knowledgeable guide during the month. She's the daughter-in-law of Wladyslaw Baroszewski (look him up!) and the author of Warsaw 1944 and Faust's Metropolis: A History of BerlinI'm so grateful that our group was small because we were able to spend lots of one-on-one time talking and learning so much from her. She also introduced us to individuals whom I never would have had the opportunity of meeting otherwise, such as Warsaw Uprising veteran Stefan Meissner and the nephew of Adam von Trott zu Solz who was involved in the July 20th plot to assassinate Hitler.  

The first thing on my list that I had to see in Warsaw were remains of the ghetto. This post is dedicated to the Warsaw Ghetto, but I'll be back with more blog posts documenting other parts of my trip.

_________


The scars of war seem to linger on every corner despite that fact that Warsaw has been completely rebuilt. If you know to look for it, remains of the Warsaw Ghetto are intermingled with sky scrapers, shopping centers, and apartment buildings. In the courtyard where the last remnants of the ghetto wall stand, children's laughter echoes off buildings as they play games. It's a drastic contrast to what this space would have felt and looked like 75 years prior. 

I'm standing on the Jewish side of the former ghetto. I got up close to touch the bricks, thinking about the Jews who were forced to construct the wall that would close them off from the rest of the world.